Addiction is a rather prevalent disease. As a result, it can be insidious and difficult to cure. There are many methods people have invented to treat addiction, and one of the most effective ones is Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is not simply throwing medication at the problem. MAT is actually a combination of medication, counseling, and cognitive behavioral therapy, and is a holistic way of treating substance use disorder (SUD). These medications have many benefits, such as blocking the pleasurable effects of opioids, suppressing the desire for more opioids, and normalizing body functions. There are many different MAT medications, including methadone, buprenorphine, and injectable naltrexone.
Medications such as naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone are used to treat opioid addiction by suppressing the desire for more opioids, limiting withdrawal symptoms, and preventing relapse. According to studies, these medications are the most effective means of controlling and treating opioid addiction disorders.
What does opioid addiction involve?
A person’s first encounter with opioids is usually when a doctor prescribes one to them following an injury or some painful medical procedure. Some prescription opioids include Codeine, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Morphine, and Oxycodone.
There are many reasons people abuse opioids. Some are dealing with emotional pain or stress, while others want to get that high while avoiding the usual problems with drinking alcohol. Most people who abuse prescription medication are getting them close to home; sometimes, they take from their own families’ medicine cabinets. As they spiral deeper into addiction, they begin to turn to heroin as it becomes cheaper and easier to acquire.
Opioid abuse changes the brain. Opioids target the production of dopamine in the brain, causing the feeling of pleasure. There is also a loss of control, which makes it more difficult not to abuse the opioid. This can happen even when the person has already recognized the harmfulness of opioid abuse.
The Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment
Withdrawal happens when a person who is addicted to opioids or other substances loses access to said substances. It is a sickness. From sleeping difficulties and sweating to hallucinations and seizures, there are many symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms and withdrawal, in general, are more reasons why it is so difficult to recover.
MAT can help decrease cravings and withdrawal, which will help the brain heal. From here, a patient can go back and live happier, healthier lives.
However, medications are only part of the MAT solution. Therapy and counseling help to deal with behavioral issues and assisting in recovery.
Those in treatment programs or 12-step programs have a misconception that medication used to treat addiction is just as harmful as the drug. They may even judge those who use MAT when they discover them writing in their daily medication log.
MAT, when used properly, is the best known treatment for opioid addiction. We must understand that opioid addiction is similar to any chronic disease and needs medical treatment.
One of the most frustrating things is when you forget to take your medication. For a person on anti-addiction medication, this could be more than just an annoyance; it could set the person’s progress back. Make use of a medicine tracker, so you don’t forget.
Are you looking for the best medication tracker app? Check out My Medication Log today! We offer MedManage, a cloud-based medication management system for patients and caregivers.